Many people begin their search for bankruptcy information looking for an inexpensive way to file a cheap bankruptcy. They ask “How can I afford to pay a bankruptcy attorney when I’m already overwhelmed with bills?” Read on to find out the cheapest ways to file bankruptcy and then the smart way to file bankruptcy.
The cheapest way to file bankruptcy is to file it by your self, called a Pro Se filing. You can generally get the required forms at your local bankruptcy court and many courts offer free legal assistance to pro se filers. It is also possible to file a motion in court to request that the filing fee either be waived or paid in installments if you qualify. Unfortunately, the cheapest way to file bankruptcy isn’t always the best way to file bankruptcy. Many pro se filers find themselves in a mess when faced with the intricacies of the bankruptcy code and it’s simply not a risk worth taking.
The next cheapest way to file bankruptcy would be to hire a bankruptcy petition preparer’s services. A non-attorney will gather all of your documents and prepare the bankruptcy petition for you.
For simple cases for individuals with limited assets or income, this is a good low cost alternative to hiring a bankruptcy attorney, but you won’t have the confidence of knowing a qualified bankruptcy attorney has reviewed your case. The problem is that you might think you have a simple case and realize that’s not the case when you run into issues with the trustee.
Most people would prefer to have a bankruptcy attorney representing them, but think they can’t afford an attorney. Bankruptcy attorneys often have very competitive fees and can be retained for as little as $100.
After you have decided to file bankruptcy, its likely your attorney will advise you to stop paying all the creditors that will be included in the bankruptcy and set you up on a payment plan based on your budget.
Set up several consultations with local lawyers and compare their fees. Bankruptcy attorney fees aren’t set in stone either, so negotiate and find the cheapest bankruptcy attorney that you feel comfortable is going to fulfill your legal needs.
A cheap bankruptcy can quickly turn into a costly bankruptcy so make sure that you find an bankruptcy attorney that is going to give your case enough individual attention. The cheapest bankruptcy lawyers are often inexperienced attorneys starting out or large “bankruptcy mills” where you can expect to be one of many clients and have limited interaction with your lawyer.